TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 7, 2008) – The latest stop of the 2008 racing season at the Talladega Superspeedway for the Amp Energy 500 in Talladega, Ala. had stars and fans of the Sprint Cup Series experiencing heartburn.  From two “big ones” causing trouble on the track to a confusing ruling at the start/finish line, everyone from fans to big-name drivers experienced more than a few TUMSâ moments in Talladega.  Each weekend PRN lead anchor Doug Rice picks the Top 10 TUMS Moments from the weekend’s racing activities.

This week’s Top 10 TUMS honors go to:

10.  Goodyear came under fire once again after at least four on-track incidents including two multi-car wrecks that were directly linked to tire problems.

9.  Mike Wallace had a competitive car that was capable of running up front but a tire failure doomed him to the role of an also-ran.

8.  David Ruitimann had a right rear tire explode and a spinning Ruitimann collected Jeff Gordon and shoved his Chevrolet into the wall.  The crash sealed any chance that Gordon had of staging a late season rally to grab his 5th title.

7.  It was another short day for the Alltel Dodge as its engine surrendered on lap 48 and Ryan Newman ended up finishing 43rd.

6.  Denny Hamlin suffered from yet another “tire incident” this time while he had the lead.  The resulting crash sent Hamlin to a nearby hospital for examination – definitely a TUMS worthy moment for the team.

5.  Brian Vickers suffered from the tire woes when his right front tire gave way.  The resulting crash swept up several cars including Martin Turex Jr., Kasey Kahne, David Gilliland and Mike Skinner to name a few.

4.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. saw his slim title hopes evaporate when he was a part of the second “big one” at Talladega.  The Amp sponsored car was unable to the finish the Amp Energy 500.

3.  Carl Edwards spent the entire day at the back of the pack trying his best to avoid trouble.  When Edwards finally made a move to the front, trouble found him in a big way.  While trying to push his teammate Greg Biffle to the front, Carl triggered a HUGE wreck that took out Chase contenders Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick.

2.  The second big wreck of the day took a little of the drama out of the Chase with so many Chasers missing a chance to gain ground on Jimmie Johnson.

1.  For a few brief seconds Regan Smith thought he had won his first Sprint Cup Race as he edged by Tony Stewart at the start finish line.  In the end, the official ruling called Smith’s pass illegal and credited him with an 18th place finish, making Stewart the big winner for the day.  Smith was racing for a TUMS after that announcement.

Stay tuned each week for the Top 10 TUMS Moments to see which drivers and teams are most in need of TUMS fast relief.

RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 10, 2008) – The latest stop of the 2008 racing season at the Richmond International Speedway for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 in Richmond, Va. had stars and fans of the Sprint Cup Series experiencing heartburn.  From storms that pushed the race to a Sunday start and the anticipation from drivers who were about to make their last attempt at the Chase, everyone from fans to big-name drivers experienced more than a few TUMSâ moments.  Each weekend PRN lead anchor Doug Rice picks the Top 10 TUMS Moments from the weekend’s racing activities.

This week’s Top 10 TUMS honors go to:

10.  Hurricane Hanna managed to postpone the entire race weekend until Sunday, but attendees got lucky as Hurricane Hanna turned out to be mostly hype.

9.  Hurricane Hanna also delayed the debut of the much talked about Joey Lagano (or Slice Bread), who will have to stay on the shelf for another week.

8.  Clint Bowyer qualified for the Chase at Richmond, but spent a great deal of the race running outside the top 12 in points.  Talk about a driver who could have benefited from a few TUMS on Sunday.

7.  Dodge, whose cars won the season opener at Daytona, have to be disappointed as they failed to put a single car in the Chase.

6.  A disappointed Kasey Kahne was left wondering what went wrong – Kahne won the All-Star Race, the Coca-Cola 600 and Pocono, but couldn’t fight his way back into the top 12 in time for the Chase.

5.  Johnny Sauter brought out the yellow on lap 96 when his Hunt Brothers Pizza car pancaked the wall, proving once and for all that pancakes and pizza don’t go well together.

4. David Ragan appeared to be Chase bound but his late race contact with Clint Bowyer sealed his fate, and he is denied a spot in the Chase.

3.  The long drought continued for some of racing’s biggest names – now 26 races into the season, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick still don’t have checkered flag between them.

2. Even though David Reutimann led the most laps on Sunday, he let victory slip away and settled for a 9th place finish.

1.  Early in the race Dale Earnhardt Jr. made contact with race leader Kyle Busch, spinning him into the wall.   TUMS are in order when your car crashes, and almost everyone in the stands are cheering.

Partnership allows for sharing of resources with NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2008) NASCAR Holdings today announced an agreement to acquire the Grand-Am Road Racing (Grand-Am). The future move will allow for resource sharing between Grand-Am and NASCAR while both organizations continue to operate independently. NASCAR Holdings is the legal operating entity that includes the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and many of its subsidiaries.

Grand-Am, one of the world’s most competitive road racing organizations, and NASCAR, the No. 1 spectator sport in the U.S., will combine marketing and communications efforts to include brand management, research, marketing and public relations.

Grand-Am consists of six racing series, including the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, which has millions of loyal fans.

“This combination of resources will benefit Grand-Am and NASCAR, their competitors and fans, as the two companies work together to enhance the two sports,” said Jim France, NASCAR Vice Chairman and Grand-Am founder.

The two racing brands will continue to independently sanction and officiate race events for their own series and there will be no change in management. Roger Edmondson will continue to serve as president of Grand-Am.

There has been a rise in crossover drivers and team owners between Grand-Am and NASCAR in recent years. NASCAR drivers such as Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kyle Petty, Bobby Labonte, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon have raced in the Grand-Am Rolex Series. Full time driver and 2008 Grand-Am Daytona Prototype team champion Scott Pruett has driven in many NASCAR events. Chip Ganassi and Richard Childress own teams in both sports.

The Grand-American Road Racing Association was established in 1999 and is based in Daytona Beach, Fla. The 2008 schedule includes 15 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series events and 11 Grand-Am KONI Challenge events. Other Grand-Am racing series include Ferrari Challenge; Ford Racing Mustang Challenge; Skip Barber Racing Series; and the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series.

BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 26, 2008 ) – The latest stop of the 2008 racing season at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Sharpie 500 in Bristol, Tenn. had stars and fans of the Sprint Cup Series experiencing heartburn.  From wrecks that took out unsuspecting drivers to another weekend win for Carl Edwards (marking his sixth win in the Sprint Cup Series this season), big-name drivers experienced more than a few TUMSâ moments in Bristol.  Each weekend PRN lead anchor Doug Rice picks the Top 10 TUMS Moments from the weekend’s racing activities.

This week’s Top 10 TUMS honors go to:

10. After young David Ragan crashed during qualifying, and started at the rear of the pack, he managed to pull off a top ten finish and will stay in contention to make the Chase.

9.   Jeff Burton’s hope for winning back-to-back races at Bristol disappeared when he was a casualty in a wreck involving several other drivers.  Despite trouble at Bristol, Burton still looks like a lock to make the Chase.

8.   A loose seat belt sidelined Elliott Sadler for eight laps and cost Elliott any chance of a decent finish.

7.   Dale Earnhardt Jr. was penalized at the start of the race for passing right before the start/finish line.  He spent the entire race trying to get back on the lead lap, a goal he was unable to accomplish.

6.   Jimmie Johnson never got to contend for the win as he and Sterling Marlin got together early and Johnson immediately found himself 10 laps down to the leaders.

5.   Chase contender Kasey Kahne crashed out of the race and fell out of the top twelve.  Kahne needs to race to exceptional finishes at California and Richmond if he wants to regain a position in the Chase.

4.   The TUMS Wave set a Guinness World Record™ for the world’s largest audience wave.  In the spirit of the TUMS, the wave made it around the track fast.  So fast that the crowd kicked into over-time and turned the two-lap event into an exercise routine that continued for five laps around the bowl at Bristol Motor Speedway.

3.   For the second week in row Dave Blaney crashed out due to no fault of his own.  It’s been a tough season for the former World of Outlaw Champion.

2.   Bill Elliott excited longtime fans by qualifying fifth on Friday and ran in the top ten for the first 200 laps.  The Awesome One eventually faded and came home in 26th.

1.   Kyle Busch absolutely dominated the race by leading 415 straight laps but gave up the lead and the win when Carl Edwards administered a bump and run on lap 469.  It should be noted that with eight wins this season, Kyle has seldom appeared on this list.

Stay tuned each week for the Top 10 TUMS Moments to see which drivers and teams are most in need of TUMS fast relief.

BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 27, 2008) – A record-setting 157,574 fans rose to the occasion at this year’s Sharpie 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. on Saturday, August 23, as TUMS challenged race attendees to set the Guinness World Record. for the world’s Largest Audience Wave.  A minimum of 110,000 fans were required to participate in the TUMS Wave at Bristol Motor Speedway in order to set the new Guinness World Record.

In addition to setting the record for the most people completing the wave, The TUMS Wave at Bristol Motor Speedway traveled around the stadium grandstands in a record time of 58.07 seconds.  While Bristol Motor Speedway is the fastest half-mile  track on the Sprint Cup circuit, the newest TUMS product, the TUMS QuikPak instant dissolve powder, goes to work faster than a lap at Bristol or the world record-setting fan wave.

“The TUMS Wave was a great way to show race fans just how quickly TUMS and the TUMS QuikPak can provide speedy heartburn relief,” said Brenda Kale, Senior Consumer Promotions Manager at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. “TUMS is committed to ensuring NASCAR fans enjoy their race experience to the fullest and participating in the Guinness World Record attempt guaranteed a memorable day at the race track.”

To add to the excitement, TUMS enlisted Jeff Byrd, President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway to give the green flag and lead 157,574 fans in the Guinness World Record-setting wave just before the start of the Sharpie 500.  TUMS and its dedicated fans are now record holders alongside notable NASCAR drivers such as Richard Petty (most wins at the Daytona 500), Bobby and Davey Allison (first father/son duo to finish first/second in a race), Kevin Harvick (closest margin of victory at the Daytona 500) and Brendan Gaughn (driver of the world’s fastest production truck, the Dodge Ram SRT-10).

Barretos, Brazil will host the world-class event in 2009!!

PUEBLO, Colo. (August 19, 2008 ) – The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) is proud to announce Barretos, SP, Brazil as the location of the 2009 PBR World Cup. PBR has worked out an agreement with Os Independentes Club, the promoter of Barretos International Rodeo, to host the World Cup in conjunction with the internationally acclaimed event.

“The World Cup in Brazil will showcase the sport of professional bull riding as no other country has ever done,” Randy Bernard, CEO of the Professional Bull Riders, stated. “It will be the largest attended event in the history of the PBR, and I am very confident each country’s teams will rise to the occasion.”

The Barretos International Rodeo is the largest bull riding event in all of Brazil, drawing over 80,000 attendees per night in over 10 days. In its 54th year, the 2009 Barretos International Rodeo will be held from August 20-30, 2009 with the World Cup being held on the last three days—August 28, 29, and 30.

Five of the best PBR bull riders from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and 2008 World Cup winner, the United States, will gather at Barretos’ Parque do Peao for the PBR’s premier international event. 2009 looks to be a showdown between Brazil and the United States as each has taken one World Cup event title home to their respective countries.

“As both Brazil and the U.S.A. have won one title, we will definitely be the two countries to watch for. We (Team Brazil) are very disappointed that we did not ride to our potential in Mexico, but we will be ready next year in front of our home country crowd,” three-time PBR World Champion and Captain of Team Brazil 2008 Adriano Moraes commented.

“We could definitely see it come down between the U.S. and Brazil next year. They are the biggest threat and will have home country advantage. They will be sure tough to beat, but every other country will be up for the challenge,” J.W. Hart, Captain of Team U.S.A. 2008, said.

BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 19, 2008 ) – The latest stop of the 2008 racing season at Michigan International Speedway for the 3M Performance 400 in Brooklyn, Mich. had the stars and fans of the Sprint Cup Series experiencing heartburn.  From the Gibbs team’s racing controversy to a weekend sweep for Carl Edwards (marking his fifth win in the Sprint Cup Series this season), big-name drivers experienced more than a few TUMSâ moments in Brooklyn.  Each weekend PRN lead anchor Doug Rice picks the Top 10 TUMS Moments from the weekend’s racing activities.

This week’s Top 10 TUMS honors go to:

#10 J.D. Gibbs and company were feeling the burn as they faced the media to discuss allegations of the team’s Nationwide Series cars being tampered with to under-perform on the dyno.  Gibbs’ “meet the media” session may become a pleasant memory after their sanctions are decided.

#9 Tony Stewart and crew kept their winless streak alive, stretching it to 38 races after failing to win at Michigan.

#8 Loyal Michigan fans could use some TUMS after a group of media paraded around Ann Arbor in Appalachian State University gear.  Michigan’s Wolverine fans are still trying to forget the football team’s monumental upset to ASU last year.

#7 Last week Marcos Ambrose was a true Cinderella story, finishing 3rd at Watkins Glen.  It was back to reality this week as he staged an early exit and a 43rd-place finish.

#6 Brad Coleman’s Sprint Cup debut was less than sensational as he finishes 38th, three laps down for Hall of Fame Racing.

#5 Ryan Newman got into Dave Blaney sending the Caterpillar Toyota into the backstretch wall.

#4 Chase hopeful Kasey Kahne had a rough day in the Budweiser Dodge as engine troubles relegate him to 40th and he drops two spots in the Chase standing.  As a result of a disastrous weekend, Kahne will be loading up on TUMS as the Chase nears.

#3 With just six laps remaining, the motor in Denny Hamlin’s Toyota erupts.  A disappointed Hamlin expressed his less than optimistic opinion about making the Chase to the media, causing heartburn for his teammates.

#2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. looked like a lock for a top-ten finish, but got into the wall late and limps the number 88 home in 23rd place.

#1 Jeff Gordon, who hasn’t won a race this season, crashed after running into his own teammate, Jimmie Johnson.  After the Johnson and Gordon rub on lap 90, Johnson immediately goes to the pits with a flat tire and eight laps later, Gordon crashes when a right front tire gives way.  Gordon dropped three positions in the Chase and is now ninth in standing.

Stay tuned each week for the Top 10 TUMS Moments to see which drivers and teams are most in need of TUMS fast relief.

CHIHUAHUA, Mexico (August 17, 2008 ) – The crowd of the Manuel Bernardo Aguirre Gymnasium was treated to an exceptional afternoon of bull riding as the Professional Bull Riders’ premier international event, the 2008 PBR World Cup, concluded. In the end, Team USA left Chihuahua, Mexico victorious with a total of 878 points over four rounds and $100,000 in prize money on August 16-17, 2008.

Team USA went into the 2008 World Cup with an extremely strong team. Three of the five members are in the top 10 of the 2008 PBR World Standings—Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colo.), J.B. Mauney (Mooresville, N.C.), and L.J. Jenkins (Texico, N.M.); the fourth member was two-time and reigning PBR World Champion Justin McBride (Elk City, Okla.); and rounding out the team was PBR fan favorites Sean Willingham (Summerville, Ga.) and Team USA alternate Luke Snyder (Raymore, Mo.). They took second place after the first two rounds on Saturday evening and then dominated Sunday afternoon’s two rounds, finishing the weekend almost 100 points ahead of Team Canada who finished in second place overall.

“With the Olympics going on and everything going on in the world like it is, we got a chance to compete for our country. Going into it, Brazil looked to be our biggest challenge. We started out slow, but in the end, we put our chins down and hands closed,” JW Hart, Team USA’s captain, stated.

Team Canada, once again, was the runner-up for a second year in a row as they finished the weekend with 773.25 total points, although they had a strong start on Saturday, finishing as the number one team after the first two rounds. Last year’s winner Team Brazil, captained by retiring PBR legend, Adriano Moraes (Cachoeira Paulista, SP, Brazil), ended the weekend in third place with 773 points. Rounding out fourth and fifth place was home country Team Mexico with 497.25 points and Team Australia with 262.5 points.

A special announcement was also made during Sunday’s performance to announce the home of the 2009 PBR World Cup. Barretos, Brazil will host the premier international event on August 28-30. Tune in next August to find out who will take the home the 2009 World Cup title and bragging rights for a year!!

OVERALL EVENT RESULTS:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16, 2008:

Round One Scores:
1) Team Canada, 256.25 points; 2) Team USA, 86.25 points; 3) Team Brazil, 84 points

Round Two Scores:
1) Team USA, 267.25 points; 2) Team Brazil, 256.25 points; 3) Team Canada, 170.25 points; 4) Team Mexico, 159.25 points; 5) Team Australia, 88.25 points.

Standings after the First Night:
1) Team Canada, 426.5 points; 2) Team USA, 353.5 points; 3) Team Brazil, 340.25 points; 4) Team Mexico, 244.25 points; 5) Team Australia, 88.25 points.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 17, 2008

Round Three Scores:
1) Team USA, 258.75 points; 2) Team Brazil, 173 points; 3) Team Canada, 170.75 points; 4) Team Australia, 89 points; 5) Team Mexico, 88.75 points.

Round Four Scores:
1) Team USA, 263.75 points; 2) Team Brazil, 259.75 points; 3) Team Canada, 176 points; 4/5) Team Australia, 85.5 points; 4/5 Team Mexico, 85.25 points.

FINAL EVENT RESULTS:
1) Team USA, 878 points – $100,000; 2) Team Canada, 773.25 points; 3) Team Brazil, 773 points; 4) Team Mexico, 497.25 points; 5) Team Australia, 262.5 points.

Mat Mladin center podium, Ben Spies right 2nd place, and Tommy Hayden left 3rd at Big Kahuna

Photos by Jeff Kluss/SIT

DANVILLE, VA (August 18, 2008 ) Story by John Davison – Mat Mladin added another notch in his near-perfect record at VIRginia International Raceway with his eighth consecutive victory at VIRginia International Raceway’s Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals presented by Dunlop, RockStar and Makita AMA Superbike races. However, the win will not be official until AMA headquarters in Pickerington, Ohio completes an inspection of the crankshaft out of Mladin’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Mat Mladin #6 taking turn 3 led 27 of 28 laps after taking lead from #22 Tommy Hayden

Results of the inspection will be released as soon as possible by the AMA. The parts from Mladin’s bike will be compared with the same parts from production bikes.

If the win stands, it will move Mladin to within only 18 points of his teammate Ben Spies, current points leader, but a healthy 121 points ahead of Denver, NC’s Jamie Hacking. Sunday’s win is Mladin’s sixth in a row for the 2008 Superbike season, and carries his momentum in to the next race, where he is touted to tie Ben Spies’ record of seven consecutive victories.

Ben Spies #1still leads the point race in spite of teammate Mat Mladin’s eighth consecutive victory for 2008

Mladin commented on the possibility of repeating his win at Road Atlanta and posting a new consecutive win streak record: “Obviously that would be great,” the Australian said. “Right now winning races is my priority and my goal in my racing career, to stack up as many as I can. If we go eight in a row, obviously that would be fantastic.

Mat Mladin helmet and #6 in the winner’s circle

Michael Jordon’s team #99 Geoff May and #20 Aaron Yates finished 8th and 21st respectively

#61 Scott Jensen catching air out of turn 5A #50 Matt D. Lynn of Ball Ground, GA working turn 2

Following Mladin and Spies home was their teammate Tommy Hayden, making a clean sweep of the top three positions in both races for their team of Suzukis. Fourth went to Eric Bostrom, mounted on a Yamaha YZF-R1, followed in fifth by Miguel DuHamel on his Honda CBR1000RR.

Kenny Noyes leading Ben Thompson out of turn 3 Reno Kariman finished 17th

The Supersport race went to Josh Hayes, mounted on his Erion Honda, ahead of the pair of Yamahas ridden by Ben Bostrom and Josh Herrin, with Blake Young and Jake Zemke finishing the top five.

Josh Hayes with Ben Bostrom and Josh Herrin on the podium

Josh Hayes #4, Steve Rapp #15, & Jake Zemke #98 Josh Hayes led entire race and seen going into turn 4

In the AMA Superstock Series presented by Dynojet, Aaron Yates took the victory by nearly ten seconds over Jake Holden, while Chris Perris, a privateer from Calgary was so stoked after his podium finish that the team almost drove off from the paddock without one of their awards. “Broke guys do good,” was Chris’ comment when stopped to deliver the items. “This is the way racing should be. This place blows San Diego away.”

Aaron Yates, Jake Holden, and Chris Perris ready to spray champagne on crowd

The Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup race started as scheduled in the morning, but a first lap crash that sent two riders to the hospital caused it to be delayed until the final event of the day. Toriano Wilson, Luciano Ribodino and Garet Tomlinson were all involved in a crash that saw Ribodino taken to Duke Medical Center in Durham, NC and Ribodino taken to UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, NC, while Tomlinson escaped relatively uninjured. Hayden Gillim, took his second straight win, riding just a few days after mid-week surgery to repair a broken collarbone. “I’m just really happy to get my second win. I didn’t think I’d do well here with my broken collarbone but when we showed up and I went out and qualified third, I knew I had a chance.”

VIRginia International Raceway is a multi-purpose road racing facility, located on the Dan River between Danville and South Boston, Virginia. Reopened in 2000, VIR hosts a wide range professional and amateur auto and motorcycle racing and track events, and is well established as “America’s Motorsport Resort.” In addition to its historic 3.27 mile natural-terrain road racing circuit, VIR is the cornerstone of VIR Club, America’s first motorsports country club; the VIR Raceplex Industrial Park and Motorsports Technology Park, which includes the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (“VIPER”); the Plantation Valley Kart Track, a 5/8 mile paved natural terrain karting circuit; an expanding variety of on-site lodging (including 45 hotel rooms and the trackside Villas which are for sale); Camp Motorsport for enthusiasts of all ages; and the Oak Tree Tavern, a full-service restaurant located within the circa-1840 Plantation Clubhouse.

The next big event at VIR occurs on the weekend of October 3-5, when GT Live and the KONI Challenge bring a thrilling combination of motorcycle stunts, drifting, ‘track attack’ events and endurance sports car races. The KONI Challenge sports cars run their six-hour season finale endurance races on Saturday and Sunday. There is no real break in the action however, as September has back-to-back weekends of action with the Championship Cup Series motorcycle races on the 20th and 21st, while the next weekend VIR welcomes the vintage sports car of Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, joined by a reunion of the IMSA Radial Sedan series. The weekend of November 1 closes out VIR’s spectator season with the Sports Car Club of America’s ‘Charge of the Headlight Brigade,’ a 13-hour enduro. These events are all combined with a wide variety of motorcycle and sports car amateur and vintage road racing and schools throughout the year.

Left to right-Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti

Story by Jeff Kluss: (Sunday August 10, 2008 ) The Meijer 300 IRL spectacle at Kentucky Speedway was another great show on the schedule. Scott Dixon passed Helio Castroneves on the final turn to bring home another win. Helio posted his 7th second place finish of the Season and still no wins. Marco Andretti turned in a 3rd place finish for Andretti-Green Racing after starting 9th in the lineup.

In spite of a wreck in practice on Friday, Danica Patrick still managed to post an 11th place finish.

As usual, if you missed this one you missed out on a great event and a special facility. The IRL knows how to put on a gem of a show, and in partnership with Kentucky Speedway had the crowd screaming for joy. Even though the event was a sell-out and sold another 2,000 standing room only tickets, there was only about 40 thousand fans in attendance. The only real explanation for the 73 thousand seat facility having lighter attendance than the number of tickets sold would be the corporate participation and purchase of tickets. But considering the gate, it was still a great show for all that attended.

Helio Castroneves at pre-race placed second

Scott Dixon now commands a 78 point series lead with only three races remaining. “Obviously a 78-point lead is pretty healthy, but we’re going to have to still try to gain points on Helio,” Dixon said. “We need an 82-point lead to have it sewn up after (the next race at) Sonoma. That would be nice, but in all reality I think we’ll be battling for the championship to the last race.”

Scott Dixon on the back-stretch

With only 7 laps remaining in the race, Dixon had to make a pit stop for a splash of fuel which kept all on the edge of their seats. This unplanned stop put Dixon behind Helio Castroneves #3 car by six seconds. In a gamble by the Penske Team, they had decided not to fuel after their last stop 57 laps from the finish. Then in the final lap on turn 3, Helio’s car lost fuel pressure, and Dixon took the advantage.

Helio Castroneves passing A. J. Foyt IV

“At that point, I saw the lights on the dash and they were all lit,” Castroneves said. “The fuel meter was off a little bit, but it wasn’t off so far that I expected to get to the finish line first.”The car misfired,” Castroneves said. “If you keep your foot on the throttle, the engine won’t respond because it’s trying to suck more fuel and there’s nothing there. What you try to do is lift a little bit to make sure you keep some revs. That’s what I did. When it coughed, I kept trying to step on and off to see if I could get more fuel. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. We took a chance,” Castroneves said. “I still can’t believe how close we were. We were just a few hundred yards short.”

Roger Penske on Pit Road had Helio Castroneves coming in 2nd and Ryan Brisco finishing 7th

Ryan Briscoe finished 7th

Ed Carpenter left on Pit Road getting ready.

Above Carpenter passing Hideki Mutoh

Ed Carpenter’s crew rolls out the car on Pit Road

In response to the Castroneves fuel problem Dixon stated, “They said there were a few guys who had gone on an alternate strategy. They were fighting pretty hard. I didn’t think coming out from this that we had enough to win. It definitely took him (Castroneves) having a problem with fuel in order for us to win it.” Dixon said. “Coming through Turns 3 and 4 and watching Helio run out of fuel with a few hundred feet to go was pretty special. I must say it’s nice to be in that position.”

Marco Andretti on the back stretch on lap 147

Marco Andretti had a great race that saw him battling Scott Dixon and Vitor Meira for the lead through the second half. Andretti led 38 laps and then fell to second place on lap 98. “We’ve got to start capitalizing when we have cars that can win races,” Andretti lamented. “Dixon had a bit of speed on us, but I think we had a better car in traffic. It was between him and I to win the race, and it’s just unfortunate that we didn’t.”

With only 12 laps left in the race, Andretti and Meira had to stop for a splash of fuel and Andretti emerged before Meira on the exit from Pit Road. “My car was just a little too loose on the last stint to make the move,” Meira said. “We planned on it cooling down late in the race, and we knew we would be in the money on the last 50 laps.”

Dan Wheldon finished 5th in spite of the question of Chip Ganasi’s failed attempt to hire Tony Kanaan earlier in the week as a possible replacement. “We lost a lot of spots in the pits on that last stop,” Wheldon said. “It is difficult to get them back.”

Milka Duno had the only serious incident of the night, emerging unhurt after a mechanical failure on the No. 23 sent it into the wall. It appeared that on turn 2 that a blown right side tire was what put the car into the wall and finishing up on the back-stretch infield. “I was just turning and the car went straight into the wall,” Duno said.

Duno immediately after hitting the wall in turn 2, then in the infield, and then being assisted.

 Finishing Position
                Driver                    Team                                   Time                      Started
 1.  Scott Dixon                      Ganassi                                  1:36:42.3467          1
 2.  Helio Castroneves            Penske                                   +  0.5532               6
 3.  Marco Andretti                Andretti Green                       +  0.5707                9
 4.  Vitor Meira                      Panther                                  +  0.9102                2
 5.  Dan Wheldon                   Ganassi                                  + 2.1472                 3
 6.  Ed Carpenter                   Vision                                    +  5.9531                8
 7.  Ryan Briscoe                    Penske                                   +  6.2271               5
 8.  Tony Kanaan                   Andretti Green                       +  7.0932                7
 9.  Ryan Hunter-Reay            Rahal Letterman                    +10.9526                14
10.  Buddy Rice                     Dreyer & Reinbold                +21.6858                15
11.  Danica Patrick                 Andretti Green                      +1 lap                      26
12.  Oriol Servia                     KV                                        +1 lap                     12
13.  E.J. Viso                         HVM                                     +2 laps                    21
14.  Bruno Junqueira              Dale Coyne                            +2 laps                    25
15.  Sarah Fisher                    Fisher                                     +2 laps                   16
16.  Jaime Camara                 Conquest                               +3 laps                    22
17.  Mario Moraes                 Dale Coyne                            +5 laps                   23
18.  Hideki Mutoh                  Andretti Green                       +43 laps                  4
19.  Darren Manning              Foyt                                       +53 laps                  17
20.  A.J. Foyt IV                    Vision                                    +64 laps                  10
21.  Milka Duno                     Dreyer & Reinbold                 +70 laps                 18
22.  Enrique Bernoldi              Conquest                               +76 laps                  24
23.  Marty Roth                     Roth                                       +102 laps                11
24.  Justin Wilson                   Newman/Haas/Lanigan           +118 laps                19
25.  Graham Rahal                 Newman/Haas/Lanigan           +172 laps                20
26.  Will Power                      KV                                        +195 laps                13

April 2017
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